Exactly a fortnight after sparking a public outrcy over his claim that it's more appropriate to call Tamil Nadu as Tamizhagam, Governor RN Ravi has finally issued a clarification behind his remark, that fueled protests against him with an urge to resign from the post. When the Governor went on to stir controversy over his conduct in the assembly, the ties between him and the state government have been taking tumultous turns.
Along with the ruling DMK, the allied parties have unanimously come together to oppose the Governor and demanded the Centre to recall him by slamming his Governorship against the Tamil Nadu people. On his remark of advocating that Tamil Nadu must be called Tamizhagam, Governor Ravi remained tight-lipped amidst the growing protests and when the outrage was heightening, he has now given a clarification in which he has said that the arguments that were made without understanding the basis of his speech.
In a press release issued by Raj Bhavan on Wednesday - January 18, the Governor said, "In an event at Raj Bhavan on January 4, 2023, to felicitate the volunteers of Kashi - Tamil Sangamam, a recently concluded month long festival celebrating the age old cultural connect of Tamil people with Kashi, while dwelling upon the historical cultural connect between the two, I referred to the word 'Tamizhagam".
"In those days, there was no 'Tamil Nadu'. Hence in historical cultural context, I referred to the word 'Tamizhagam' as a 'more appropriate expression'. An interpretation or inference that it was a suggestion to change the name of the Tamil Nadu is erroneous and far-fetched", the Governor added. RN Ravi further said, "Without understanding the basis of my speech, arguments that that Governor is against the word 'Tamil Nadu' have become a topic of discussion. Hence, I am giving this clarification to put an end to it."
Governor Ravi's clarification has come moments after he left to Delhi on Thursday for the second time within a week. In his speech on January 4, Governor RN Ravi said, "Unfortunately, in Tamil Nadu, there has been regressive politics, that we are Dravidian and we have nothing to do with this (Bharat)." By citing that Tamil Nadu is the soul, an idea, and an identity of the nation, Governor Ravi went on to say that it is correct to say 'Tamilagam' instead of 'Tamil Nadu', as Nadu represents an autonomous region while the state is a part of India. Ravi claimed that for over 50 years, efforts have been made to reinforce the narrative that Tamil Nadu is not an integral part of India.
His speech has sparked a social media trend #TamilNadu and it had attracted a barrage of tweets against the Governor, with the DMK criticizing the Governor of dwelling on topics like Sanatana Dharma, Aryan, and Dravidian concepts and acting like a BJP politician. Slamming the Governor for his 'Tamizhagam' remark, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin referred to Ravi as 'one guy' who is groaning against calling the state as Tamil Nadu.
Stalin recalled the party's contributions on naming the state as Tamil Nadu and slammed the Governor for his move of terming the state as 'Tamilagam'. Stalin reminiscied how DMK stalwart and former Chief Minister CN Annadurai attended Tamil Nadu's naming ceremony despite not doing well. Stalin quoted Annadurai as saying, "My family members, senior party leaders, and doctors advised me to not attend this event. But what's the point of being alive if I cannot attend the event where Tamil Nadu is getting the name of Tamil Nadu."
Stalin further said, "Today, one guy (Governor Ravi) is groaning against calling the state as Tamil Nadu. No more advertisement for him." Stalin's speech had a rousing applause from the audience. "The reason why I am saying these is that these are history that the youth wing members must know", Stalin added. His speech has been getting shared rampantly by the DMK members as it has become yet another direct attack from Stalin on the Governor in days time.